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Wisconsin Highway 57

Wisconsin Highway 57 (often called Highway 57, STH-57 or WIS 57) is a 191.82-mile-long (308.70 km) state highway Wisconsin, United States. It runs from its southern terminus at Wisconsin Highway 59 in Milwaukee to its northern terminus at Wisconsin Highway 42 in Sister Bay. Much of WIS 57 parallels the Interstate 43 corridor, and the highway is concurrent with I-43 for 12 miles (19 km) in Ozaukee County. Like most Wisconsin state highways, WIS 57 is maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

State Trunk Highway 57 marker

State Trunk Highway 57
WIS-57 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by WisDOT
Length191.82 mi[2] (308.70 km)
Existed1918 (1918)[1]–present
Lake Michigan Circle Tour
Major junctions
South end WIS 59 in Milwaukee
North end WIS 42 in Sister Bay
CountiesMilwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Calumet, Brown, Kewaunee, Door
Highway system
WIS 56WIS 58

WIS 57 serves as a major highway in eastern Wisconsin, and it was originally designed to connect the major cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay as well as several other large cities along its corridor. The state of Wisconsin proposed that the WIS 57 route become an Interstate Highway corridor when the Interstate Highway System was planned in the 1950s; the state's plan was rejected in favor of the current routing of Interstate 43. WIS 57 is also a major route to the popular tourist destination of Door County; it is one of only two state highways to serve the county.[3]


When the Wisconsin State Highway system was laid out in 1918, WIS 57 ran from Racine north to Milwaukee along a route that later became U.S. Route 41 and is now Wisconsin Highway 241.[1] By 1921, WIS 57 had been significantly expanded. It was extended northward from Milwaukee to Green Bay along what is generally its present-day route and southward from Racine to the Illinois state line. WIS 57 grew even more in 1923, when the state extended the highway northward from Green Bay to the Michigan state line. However, WIS 57 did not keep this alignment for very long. In 1927, when the U.S. Highway System was established in Wisconsin, WIS 57 was shortened at both ends. The section between Green Bay and Michigan became U.S. Route 141, and the section south of Milwaukee became part of US 41.

WIS 57 replaced WIS 78 in the Door Peninsula in 1930, reaching its present-day terminus in Sister Bay. This routing from Milwaukee to Sister Bay stayed mostly the same until the 1990s, with a few minor exceptions. WIS 57 was rerouted onto its current alignment between Hilbert and Askeaton in 1932, replacing a former routing to Hollandtown; the original routing was replaced by county roads. The highway was also realigned between Plymouth and Kiel in 1956, and the former route became part of WIS 67.

When the federal government was planning the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s, Wisconsin proposed that the WIS 57 corridor become the route of an interstate highway. The state wanted an interstate to connect Milwaukee and Green Bay, two of Wisconsin's largest cities. Their plan chose the WIS 57 route over the nearby US 41 and US 141 corridors; the state did not want the interstate's route to favor either the port cities of Manitowoc and Sheboygan or the inland cities of Appleton, Fond du Lac and Oshkosh. Wisconsin wanted to designate the highway as Interstate 57 to preserve the highway's number; while this numbering would have fit in the west–east Interstate number scheme, an Interstate 57 was already planned in Illinois and Missouri. The state's proposal was ultimately rejected, and Interstate 43 was built on the US 141 corridor along the lakeshore instead.[2] The US 41 corridor eventually became Interstate 41 in 2015, providing interstate access to all the cities the WI 57 routing would not have favored.

WisDOT rerouted WIS 57 in south Ozaukee County during the early 1990s in response to local municipalities who complained about heavy traffic on the road. This realignment signed the highway along WIS 167 and Interstate 43 to avoid entering the downtown areas of Mequon, Thiensville, Grafton and Cedarburg. WIS 57's former routing became a municipal road. This realignment plan also turned WIS 143 over to the county and extended WIS 181 northward from WIS 167 to WIS 60.[4]

A WisDOT project rebuilt and widened the stretch of WIS 57 between WIS 54 and WIS 42, between Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay, a primary route to the Door Peninsula, to four lanes between 1999 and 2008.[5] This section had been a two-lane highway, but traffic during the vacation season caused long delays and made an expansion necessary. The heavy traffic also resulted in the deaths of eighteen people on this section between 1994 and 1997, earning the highway the nickname "Bloody Route 57" among locals.[6] The results of extensive archeological excavations made in connection with the project are detailed along with a discussion of the highway expansion in informational kiosks at the County C Park & Ride lot in Door County and at Wequiock Falls in Brown County.[7] The project began in 1999 when the interchange between WIS 54 and WIS 57 was rebuilt as Phase I of the project.[8] Phase 2 widened WIS 57 to four lanes on the 8 miles (13 km) between WIS 54 and Dyckesville during 2002 and 2003.[9] The first section of four-lane road officially opened on December 2, 2003.[10] WisDOT then began Phase 3 of the project, which widened the rest of the highway through the WIS 42 junction. The first part of this phase, a 6-mile (9.7 km) bypass of Dyckesville that reached the Door-Kewaunee county line, opened on December 1, 2006.[11] The entire project was completed on October 6, 2008, when the last 11-mile (18 km) section near Sturgeon Bay was officially opened.[12]

Major intersectionsEdit

MilwaukeeMilwaukee0.00.0  WIS 59
0.81.3  I-94Access to I-94 via St. Paul Avenue
1.52.4  US 18 westSouthern end of concurrency with US 18
2.23.5  US 18 eastNorthern end of concurrency with US 18
3.15.0  WIS 145 southSouthern end of concurrency with WIS 145
3.45.5  WIS 145 northNorthern end of concurrency with WIS 145
6.210.0  WIS 190 – Pewaukee
6.310.1  I-43 southNorthbound entrance ramp can be accessed via WIS 190 and 7th Street
Brown Deer13.020.9  WIS 100 – WauwatosaInterchange
OzaukeeThiensville16.226.1  WIS 167 west – Holy HillSouthern end of concurrency with WIS 167
19.331.185     I-43 south / WIS 32 south / WIS 167 ends / LMCTSouthern end of concurrency with I-43 and WIS 32; northern end of concurrency with WIS 167
Town of Grafton89  CTH-C – Cedarburg
Ulao26.242.292  WIS 60 west – Cedarburg
Grafton27.644.493    WIS 32 north / CTH-V south / LMCT – Port Washington, GraftonNorthern end of concurrency with WIS 32
Saukville30.749.496  WIS 33 – Saukville, Port Washington
31.550.7  I-43 northNorthbound exit and southbound entrance; northern end of concurrency with I-43
SheboyganRandom Lake43.369.7  WIS 144 west – West Bend
Waldo50.981.9  WIS 28 south – KewaskumSouthern end of concurrency with WIS 28
51.482.7  WIS 28 north – SheboyganNorthern end of concurrency with WIS 28
Plymouth56.691.1  WIS 23 – Fond du Lac, Sheboygan
ManitowocMillhome66.2106.5  WIS 32 southSouthern end of concurrency with WIS 32
Kiel69.8112.3  WIS 67Roundabout
CalumetChilton81.0130.4  US 151 north – ManitowocSouthern end of concurrency with US 151
81.8131.6  US 151 south – Fond du Lac, MadisonNorthern end of concurrency with US 151
Hilbert89.4143.9  WIS 114 west – Neenah
Forest Junction94.5152.1  US 10Roundabout
BrownGreenleaf102.3164.6  WIS 96 – Wrightstown, DenmarkRoundabout
De Pere  CTH-PP south (Broadway Street) – ReedsvilleSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
112.1180.4  WIS 32 north (Main Avenue)Northern end of concurrency with WIS 32
Allouez114.4184.1  WIS 172 – Hobart
Green Bay116.9188.1  WIS 54 westSouthern end of concurrency with WIS 54
117.4188.9  WIS 29 west – ShawanoSouthern end of concurrency with WIS 29
117.7189.4   US 141 east / WIS 29Northern end of concurrency with WIS 29
120.6194.1   I-43 / LMCT – Milwaukee
University Avenue; Nicolet Drive
  CTH-EA (Huron Road/Bay Settlement Road)
125.1201.3   WIS 54 east / CTH-I west – Kewaunee, LuxemburgNorthern end of concurrency with WIS 54
Town of Green Bay   CTH-P south / CTH-DK north – DyckesvilleNorthern end of concurrency with WIS 54
DoorMaplewood154.1248.0   WIS 42 south / LMCT – AlgomaSouthern end of concurrency with WIS 42
Sturgeon Bay159.1256.0  
   Bus. WIS 42 / Bus. WIS 57
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Bridge over Sturgeon Bay
   Bus. WIS 42 / Bus. WIS 57
Sevastopol164.9265.4   WIS 42 north / LMCT – Egg Harbor, Fish CreekNorthern end of concurrency with WIS 42
Sister Bay191.82308.70   WIS 42 / LMCT – Ephraim, Ellison Bay
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Special routesEdit

Shield for Business Highway 42/57
Michigan Street Bridge

Wisconsin Highway 57 has one special route, Wisconsin Business Highway 42/57 in Sturgeon Bay. Business Highway 42/57 is 3.55 miles (5.71 km) long[15] and connects to downtown Sturgeon Bay, which WIS 42 and WIS 57 bypass. It is cosigned as a business route of both WIS 42 and WIS 57 because it splits off of the concurrency of the two highways at both of its ends. Like most auxiliary state highways in Wisconsin, Business Highway 42/57 is locally maintained.

Business Route 42/57 crossed Sturgeon Bay via the Michigan Street Bridge, a historic drawbridge near downtown Sturgeon Bay, until September 2008. This bridge was built in 1930 and is 1,420 feet (430 m) long.[16] The bridge is one of only three crossings of Sturgeon Bay, the others being the WIS 42/WIS 57 bridge and the recently opened Maple and Oregon Streets Bridge. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 17, 2008.[17] The bridge was closed to all traffic in July 2008 when structural problems were found in its supports, though it was reopened to light traffic after two days.[18] It was again closed to all traffic when the Maple and Oregon Streets Bridge opened in September 2008, and Business Highway 42/57 was rerouted over this bridge.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Original State Trunk Highway System in Wisconsin (Map). Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. 1918. Retrieved January 10, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Bessert, Christopher J. "Highways 50–59". Wisconsin Highways. Retrieved March 20, 2007.[self-published source]
  3. ^ Door Co (PDF) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2008. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
  4. ^ Devine, Matt (December 22, 1992). "Plans Afoot to Get Highway 57 Out of a Jam". Milwaukee Journal.
  5. ^ "WIS 57 Expansion Project". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on May 5, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  6. ^ Jones, Meg (September 14, 1997). "Heavy Traffic, 2 Lanes to Door a Fatal Mix: Those Who've Lost Kin to Highway 57 Say Widening Can't Come Too Soon". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  7. ^ Interpretive Kiosk panels online
  8. ^ Walters, Steven (June 6, 1998). "Road Projects in Northeast Wisconsin Get Lift: Tax Money to Allow Faster Completion of Highway 57 Work, Governor Announces". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  9. ^ Brinkmann, Paul (May 5, 2003). "Wis. 57 Project Will Widen Road, Lengthen Drive". Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  10. ^ Brinkmann, Paul (December 3, 2003). "Widened Stretch of 57 Opens Today for Traffic". Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  11. ^ Green Bay Press-Gazette Staff (December 1, 2006). "Wis. 57 Bypass Project Completed". Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  12. ^ Bintz, Ramelle (October 7, 2008). "Final Piece of Four-Lane Road to Door Co. Opens". Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  13. ^ Google (December 13, 2010). "Overview Map of Wisconsin Highway 57 between Milwaukee and Hilbert" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  14. ^ Google (December 13, 2010). "Overview Map of Wisconsin Highway 57 between Hilbert and Sister Bay" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  15. ^ Bessert, Christopher J. "Business Connections". Wisconsin Highways. Retrieved November 3, 2008.[self-published source]
  16. ^ "Sturgeon Bay bridge projects". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
  17. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  18. ^ "Sturgeon Bay Bridge Reopens". Green Bay, WI: WFRV-TV. July 23, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2008.[dead link]
  19. ^ Kubisiak, Kristen (September 22, 2008). "Residents Come Out to Give Bridge a Test Drive". Green Bay Press-Gazette.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Wisconsin Highway 57 at Wikimedia Commons